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This Wildlife Sanctuary Is Saving Turtles In The Most Ingenious Way Ever and You Can Help

The surf, the sand, and the sun all make the beach to be the perfect habitat for summer fun. Yet, it isn’t just people who hit the beach at this time of year. When the weather gets warmer, turtles make their way onto beaches around the world to lay their eggs. It’s a dangerous yet necessary journey for these endangered animals. In coming to land, turtles are often manhandled and injured by cars, other wild animals and unnecessary human interference. 

This can leave them with potentially life-threatening damage to their protective shells.  

However, one animal shelter has discovered a brilliant way to rehabilitate these turtles and you can help them with this cause.

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

Located in Iowa, the Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary is one of many shelters that use wire and eye and hook clasps to repair these busted up little guys. At the end of June 2019, a post about this innovation was shared by the sanctuary’s Facebook page. The post was then boosted by the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and soon went viral; gaining tens of thousands of likes and shares. 

What the Wildthunder Sanctuary uses are the kind of clasps you find on bras, some swimwear, and certain lingerie. It may seem like a strange tool but it’s extremely effective. The rescuers gently glue the shells back together and then use the clasp method to make sure the shell stays put. 

“We just kind of weave wire through the eyelets, and as time goes on you can make them tighter,” Keenan Freitas, one of the staff rehabilitators at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, explained to TODAY. “It’s pretty simple, it’s effective, and it works the best out of anything we’ve used.” 

The response was immediate and the Wildthunder Sanctuary has been inundated with donations of bras. 

Facebook / Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary

As appreciated as the donations are, receiving whole bras kind of provides extra work for the rescuers. If you would like to donate your discarded clasps, please remove them from the bra BEFORE sending them to Wildthunder Sanctuary. If your bras are still wearable, sanctuaries ask that you donate them to a local women’s shelter instead. Donations of new clasps are also greatly appreciated and can be bought in bulk. 

As the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue pointed out, they have more needs than just bra clasps.

They have set up an Amazon Wish List full of items that will assist in their further rescue of turtles, birds, and other local wildlife in need. You can also make a direct donation to the cause here. If you live in the area, consider volunteering as help is always needed.

The wildlife rescuers caution that if you find an injured animal ⁠— turtle or not ⁠— your first move should always be to contact a shelter or your local wildlife rescue. If you need to remove a turtle from the place you find it, be sure to write down the exact location. Turtles spend their whole lives in one territory and this protected species needs to be returned back to its habitat to continue its happy Tortuga life. 

In response to the shared pics of rehabilitated turtles, Twitter and Facebook let out a collective “Awww.”

Twitter / @TallNose

While most comments ranged around praising the good work of these organizations, this Twitter user had a much cuter take of the whole situation. Sally Scott drew this adorable interpretation of a happy turtle in their brand new donated bra. It probably isn’t what the sanctuaries have in mind when they’re thinking about turtle support, but this is a look we can totally get behind.    

Seven South American Nations Sign An Environmental Pact To Protect The Amazon, Just Like Three Months Too Late

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Seven South American Nations Sign An Environmental Pact To Protect The Amazon, Just Like Three Months Too Late

Guillermo Legaria / Getty Images

There is a wise old Mexican saying that goes: “Ahogado el niño se tapa el pozo“. It roughly translates as “Once the child drowns the well is shut off”. In other words, sometimes horrible things need to happen for people to react and come up with solutions or at least a bit of an effort to prevent further catastrophes. Well, that’s the feeling that we get with the recently signed pact to protect the Amazon after fires savaged los pulmones de la Madre Tierra for weeks. 

The meeting was initially called by the host and the Peruvian president, as the Sunday Star Times reports: “The host, Colombian President Ivan Duque, and his Peruvian counterpart Martin Vizcarra called for the meeting following global outrage over a surge in the number of fires in Brazil’s Amazon region this year, which triggered protests at Brazilian diplomatic missions worldwide over Bolsonaro’s alleged indifference to environmental concerns”. So what is the pact all about and what is the deal with Bolsonaro?

The pact was signed by seven South American nations.

Credit: default. Digital image. Euronews.

The signing countries are: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Surinam. The pact was signed in the Colombian town of Leticia, deep in the Amazon, last Friday September 6. The pact has 14 points and it focuses on improvements to disaster response coordination among the seven countries, and increased satellite monitoring of the world’s largest rainforest. Other notable points include education around environmental matters and an increased participation of indigenous communities on policies and projects. The document also looks to curb illegal species trafficking, illegal mineral extraction, deforestation and planting of illicit crops (so, drugs). 

The host, Colombian president Ivan Duque, called for unity.

Credit: Instagram. @ivanduquemarquez

The host said: “This meeting will live on as a co-ordination mechanism for the presidents that share this treasure – the Amazon”. But he also expressed a wider message: “We believe that this is a moral duty, our societies are increasingly aware of the need to protect our shared home, of our Mother Earth”. We certainly hope these are more that pretty words. As abuelitas say, del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho. It is worth noting that the original owners of the land were present, as CE Noticias Financieras reports: “Representatives of indigenous communities were also present at the meeting and the instance was concretized to a traditional ceremonial area in the Monilla Amena community”. 

Notably absent was Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who “attended” via video conference.

Credit: Instagram. @michellebolssonaro

The Brazilian leader, who has been widely criticized for his reluctance to accept foreign aid during the fires, was at hospital at the time. Bolsonaro, however, delivered a message that can only be read as support for continuing efforts to mine indigenous reserves and protected areas. He said:  “Our riches will be utilized in a sustainable way, in accordance to the resources that we have”. We don’t have to read too much between the lines to realize that this is a somewhat veiled way to say they will continue exploiting the Amazon for its natural resources… wildlife and indigenous rights be damned. 

Only two Amazon countries did not sign the pact: Venezuela and France, who owns the French Guiana.

Credit: Instagram. @picturesoftheamazon

Will they join in the efforts to protect the biggest single source of oxygen in the world? We certainly hope so. They also have to be held accountable!

And there were some discrepancies over the ways in which the Amazon can be saved.

Credit: Instagram. @TheForestInitiative

The participants in this meeting didn’t all see eye to eye. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was himself born in the Amazon, said: “We are killing the Earth, and all of us are responsible”. But Bolsonaro claimed that foreign countries were using the fires to conspire against the sovereignty of the regions’ nations.  So clearly out of the seven at least Brazil is looking after industry lobbyists, perhaps?

But at the end we are all responsible for our planet and the Amazon fires were yet another wake up call! 

Credit: Instagram. @climatesavemovement

Environmentalists and activists in pro of animal rights stressed out the fact that the Amazon fires were in part to blame on the meat industry. While we can disagree with a total ban on meat, fact is that climate-related emergencies will be the norm rather than the exception in the coming years, and we do have to thing about our consumption habits and the ways in which we harvest riches from the land. 

Truth is, politicians will always use catastrophes to increase their profile, so we have to ALL make an effort to protect the environment.

Credit: Instagram. @evomoralesayma

Perhaps we are being too cynical, but the Amazon disaster has conveniently brought out the best out of politicians. Evo Morales, for example, has had too many photo ops related to the rainforest relief efforts, right in the middle of an electoral campaign and when his long rule over Bolivia is being harshly questioned by the opposition. So it is up to us, as Latinos and as human beings, to hold those in power accountable for protecting our home. 

Mexican Marijuana Traffickers Are Behind The Poisoning Of California Forests Caused By A Banned Pesticide

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Mexican Marijuana Traffickers Are Behind The Poisoning Of California Forests Caused By A Banned Pesticide

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There are growing concerns in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains due to illegal pesticides that are being used for illegal marijuana-growing sites in the area. Law enforcement officials on Tuesday announced major operations are underway targeting these sites. Officials say that Mexican drug traffickers are the culprits behind the marijuana grows and have already discovered close to 25,000 marijuana plants cultivated illegally within California’s national forests in the last month. 

“These are federal lands, and they are being systematically destroyed through clear-cutting, stream diversion, chemicals, and pesticides,” U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said at a news conference

Law enforcement is most concerned about the pesticide, carbofuran, that is being used on these plants. The pesticide is toxic to wildlife and humans and can cause permanent reproductive damage. 

Credit: @LATimes / Twitter

While the large marijuana grow is enough to cause concern for law enforcement, the banned pesticide, Carbofuran, being used is making matters worse. According to Quartz, the substance was very common for farmers as it was once sprayed on American corn, cotton, potatoes, sunflowers, and other crops. The pesticide in question was pulled off the legal U.S. market more than a decade ago due to its deadly harm. It’s also been known to cause permanent damage to human nervous and reproductive systems and is toxic to wildlife and waterways. 

The pesticide also happened to kill more birds in the U.S. than any other pesticide ever known. It would also be banned in Europe, Canada, and Brazil, shortly after. 

Carbofuran has been a continuing problem in California despite its ban. The pesticide has been a known favorite for illegal pot operators, nine out of every 10 illegal pot farms raided in California were found to be using it last year, according to the Associated Press

Another issue that has risen is the water usage that these illegal cannabis farms in California are wasting. The LA Times notes that on average one illegal farm uses a minimum of 5.4 million gallons of water annually to cultivate 6,000 plants. 

“Water is the most important issue in California, and the amount being used to grow an illegal product in the national forest is mind-boggling It’s a vitally important issue,” Scott said. 

Investigators say there’s been a spike in illegal marijuana grows in California that is being operated by Mexican drug traffickers. 

Credit: @pablorodas / Twitter

The news conference came less than two days after two men from Michoacan, Mexico, Lester Eduardo Cardenas Flores, and Luis Reyes Madrigal, were caught operating an illegal marijuana-growing site in the Sierra Mountains. Both men were formally charged Tuesday in Fresno federal court with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute large quantities of marijuana.

Scott says illegal immigrants from Mexico have been a common theme when it comes to finding these marijuana operations. Both Madrigal and Flores were illegal immigrants and were linked to other Mexican marijuana traffickers. The penalty for both of their charges could be anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.

“We’ve prosecuted hundreds of person, without exception..they’re all here illegally and all undocumented from Mexico,” Scott said.”We want to find the people funding these operations.”

There is hope that these latest arrests send a signal to traffickers and legislative change follows as well.

Credit: @MarilynM / Twitter

Marijuana-growing sites being connected to Mexican drug groups have been a growing issue for years. But Scott says with the recent spike of chemical use being found it only adds to the urgency of shutting these operations down. Back in July, agents and officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife closed in on another illegal grow operation deep within the Stanislaus National Forest. The raid turned up with over 2,500 marijuana plants and one loaded handgun.

While this has been an issue for years, officials says with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California back in 2016. Environmentalists and scientists agree that legalization of the cultivation of marijuana could be the best solution to prevent this from happening in the future. But for now, this is an issue that law enforcement doesn’t see stopping anytime soon. 

“I want to be perfectly clear, none of what we are talking about is legal under anyone’s marijuana laws,” Scott said. “This isn’t about the marijuana, it’s about the damage that’s being done. What is happening here is illegal under anybody’s law. Everything that we are talking about is as equally illegal under California law as it under federal law.”

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